On Thursday, the Biden administration called for Iran’s “imminent” return to indirect negotiations in Vienna to revive the nuclear deal, known as the JCPOA.
State Department spokesman Ned Price said the US believes an “imminent return to Vienna is necessary because this is not a process that can go on indefinitely.” For weeks now, US officials have been warning Iran that the window of opportunity for the negotiations is closing.
Iranian officials have been saying they plan to return to the talks soon but haven’t given a specific date. The negotiations have been stalled since June 20th, around the time Ebrahim Raisi was elected as Iran’s new president.
The Raisi government has said they are finishing up consultations on the earlier rounds of negotiations. “We are now finalizing consultations on this matter and will soon restore our negotiations in Vienna,” Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said on Wednesday.
The US has not been sending Iran positive signals as it waits for the negotiations to resume. The Biden administration has recently implemented new Iran-related sanctions, ramping up the so-called “maximum pressure campaign” started by the Trump administration.
While the US is blaming Iran for the current delay, it was the Biden administration’s refusal to lift all Trump-era sanctions that dragged out the initial rounds of negotiations. The talks began in April and lasted six rounds as the two sides negotiated limited sanctions relief, a significant concession for Iran. The sixth round concluded with the two sides far apart on key issues.